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  World Conference on Constitutional Justice - 105 members !
 
 

With the accession of the Constitutional Court of Luxembourg, the World Conference on Constitutional Justice has 105 members !

Upon invitation by the Constitutional Court of Lithuania, the 4th Congress of the World Conference on "the Rule of Law and Constitutional Justice in the Modern World" will be held in in Vilnius, Republic of Lithuania, on 11-14 September 2017.

 

The World Conference on Constitutional Justice unites 105 Constitutional Courts and Councils and Supreme Courts in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia/Oceania and Europe. It promotes constitutional justice – understood as constitutional review including human rights case-law – as a key element for democracy, the protection of human rights and the rule of law (Article 1.2 of the Statute).


According to its Statute, the World Conference does not have a "President". It has three bodies, the General Assembly, the Bureau and the Secretariat. The General Assembly is chaired by the Host Court of the Congress. The next host is the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania. The presidency of the Bureau is ensured for one year by rotation between the groups. The Presidency of the Bureau is therefore not that of an individual Court but of a group of Courts. Since 21 September 2016, the presidency of the Bureau is exercised by the Conference of African Constitutional Jurisdictions. It is up to the groups to designate their representative.
 

The World Conference pursues its objectives through the organisation of regular congresses, by participating in regional conferences and seminars, by sharing experiences and case-law and by offering good services to members on their request (Article 1.2 of the Statute).

 

The main purpose of the World Conference is to facilitate judicial dialogue between constitutional judges on a global scale. Due to the obligation of judicial restraint, constitutional judges sometimes have little occasion to conduct a constructive dialogue on constitutional principles in their countries. The exchanges that take place between judges from various parts of the world in the World Conference furthers reflection on arguments, which promote the basic goals inherent to national constitutions. Even if these texts often differ substantially, discussion on the underlying constitutional concepts unites constitutional judges from various parts of the world committed to promoting constitutionality in their own country.

 

As these judges sometimes find themselves in situations of conflict with other state powers because of decisions they had to hand down based on the Constitution, being part of the World Conference provides them with a forum that not only allows them to exchange information freely with their peers, but where judges from other countries can also offer moral support. This can be important in upholding constitutional principles, which the judges are called upon to defend in their line of work.

 

The Courts and Councils, members of and committed to the principles of the World Conference may see their membership suspended by the General Assembly of the World Conference in case of flagrant violation of these principles.
 

The following Courts or Councils have given written notification about their accession to the Venice Commission, which acts as the Secretariat of the World Conference (status 17 February 2017):

   1.     Albania, Constitutional Court
    2.     Algeria, Constitutional Council
    3.     Andorra, Constitutional Court
    4.     Angola, Constitutional Court
    5.     Armenia, Constitutional Court
    6.     Australia, High Court
    7.     Austria, Constitutional Court
    8.     Azerbaijan, Constitutional Court
    9.     Bahrain, Constitutional Court
    10.   Belarus, Constitutional Court
    11.   Belgium, Constitutional Court
    12.   Benin, Constitutional Court
    13.   Bosnia and Herzegovina, Constitutional Court
    14.   Brazil, Federal Supreme Court
    15.   Bulgaria, Constitutional Court
    16.   Burkina Faso, Constitutional Council
    17.   Burundi, Constitutional Court
    18.   Cambodia, Constitutional Council
    19.   Cameroun, Supreme Court
    20.   Canada, Supreme Court
    21.   Cape Verde, Constitutional Court
    22.   Chad, Constitutional Council
    23.   Chile, Constitutional Court
    24.   Colombia, Constitutional Court
    25.   Comoros, Constitutional Court
    26.   Congo (Brazzaville), Constitutional Court
    27.   Congo, Democratic Republic, Constitutional Court
    28.   Costa Rica, Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court
    29.   Côte d'Ivoire, Constitutional Council
    30.   Croatia, Constitutional Court
    31.   Cyprus, Supreme Court
    32.   Czech Republic, Constitutional Court
    33.   Denmark, Supreme Court
    34.   Djibouti, Constitutional Council
    35.   Dominican Republic, Constitutional Court
    36.   Ecuador, Constitutional Court
    37.   Egypt, Supreme Constitutional Court
    38.   Estonia, Supreme Court
    39.   Finland, Supreme Administrative Court
    40.   France, Constitutional Council
    41.   Gabon, Constitutional Court
    42.   Georgia, Constitutional Court
    43.   Germany, Federal Constitutional Court
    44.   Ghana, Supreme Court
    45.   Guinea, Constitutional Court
    46.   Guinea-Bissau, Supreme Court of Justice
    47.   Hungary, Constitutional Court
    48.   Indonesia, Constitutional Court
    49.   Israel, Supreme Court
    50.   Italy, Constitutional Court
    51.   Jordan, Constitutional Court
    52.   Kazakhstan, Constitutional Council
    53.   Korea, Republic, Constitutional Court
    54.   Kosovo, Constitutional Court
    55.   Kuwait, Constitutional Court
    56.   Kyrgyzstan, Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court
    57.   Latvia, Constitutional Court
    58.   Lithuania, Constitutional Court
    59.   Lebanon, Constitutional Council
    60.   Luxembourg, Constitutional Courtnew
    61.   Macedonia, Constitutional Court
    62.   Madagascar, High Constitutional Court
    63.   Mali, Constitutional Court
    64.   Mauritania, Constitutional Council
    65.   Mauritius, Supreme Court
    66.   Mexico, Supreme Court
    67.   Mexico, Electoral Court of the Federal Judiciary
    68.   Moldova, Constitutional Court
    69.   Mongolia, Constitutional Court
    70.   Monaco, Supreme Court
    71.   Montenegro, Constitutional Court
    72.   Morocco, Constitutional Council
    73.   Mozambique, Constitutional Council
    74.   Namibia, Supreme Court new
    75.   Netherlands, Council of State
    76.   Netherlands, Supreme Court
    77.   Nicaragua, Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court
    78.   Niger, Constitutional Court
    79.   Norway, Supreme Court
    80.   Pakistan, Supreme Court
    81.   Peru, Constitutional Court
    82.   Poland, Constitutional Tribunal
    83.   Portugal, Constitutional Court
    84.   Romania, Constitutional Court
    85.   Russia, Constitutional Court
    86.   Samoa, Supreme Court
    87.   São Tomé and Príncipe, Supreme Court / Constitutional Court
    88.   Senegal, Constitutional Council
    89.   Serbia, Constitutional Court
    90.   Seychelles, Supreme Court
    91.   Slovakia, Constitutional Court
    92.   Slovenia, Constitutional Court
    93.   South Africa, Constitutional Court
    94.   Spain, Constitutional Court
    95.   Sweden, Supreme Administrative Court
    96.   Switzerland, Federal Court
    97.   Tajikistan, Constitutional Court
    98.   Tanzania, Court of Appeal
    99.   Thailand, Constitutional Court
    100. Togo, Constitutional Court
    101. Turkey, Constitutional Court
    102. Uganda, Supreme Court
    103. Ukraine, Constitutional Court
    104. Uzbekistan, Constitutional Court
    105. Zambia, Supreme Court
 

 

 

History of the World Conference:

 

Since 1996, the Venice Commission has established co-operation with a number of regional or language based groups of constitutional courts, in particular the Conference of European Constitutional Courts, the Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language, the Southern African Judges Commission, the Conference of Constitutional Control Organs of Countries of New Democracy, the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions, the Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils, the Ibero-American Conference of Constitutional Justice and the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa.
 

In pursuit of the goal of uniting these groups and their members, the Venice Commission had organised a Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice for the first time, held in Cape Town, South Africa on 23-24 January 2009 and hosted by the Constitutional Court of South Africa. This event gathered 9 regional or linguistic groups and some 90 courts.
 

On the basis of a declaration adopted at this occasion, the Venice Commission assisted a Bureau in the establishment of the World Conference as a permanent body. At their first meeting in Mexico, in April 2009, the Bureau prepared a draft statute, which was discussed at other meetings of the Bureau on 12 December 2009 and 5 June 2010 in Venice together with questions of the organisation of a second Congress.
 

Eighty-eight Constitutional Courts, Constitutional Councils and Supreme Courts as well as the 10 regional and linguistic groups of courts from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe gathered for a second Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice on the topic "Separation of Powers and Independence of Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Bodies". This event was hosted by the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 16-18 January 2011 in co-operation with the Venice Commission.

The draft statute was amended on this occasion and finally adopted at another meeting of the Bureau on 23 May 2011 on the occasion of the XVth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts.
 

With the accession of more than 30 Constitutional Courts, Constitutional Councils and Supreme Courts exercising constitutional justice, the Statute of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice entered into force on 24 September 2011.

The 3rd Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice on the topic ‘Constitutional Justice and Social Integration’ was hosted by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea on 28 September – 1 October 2014. The participants of the 3rd Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice adopted the Seoul Communiqué.

The congress examined how constitutional courts have dealt with social integration and – in its absence – with social conflict. The participating judges were able to draw inspiration from the experience of their peers, whether from positive examples or from cases where the courts were unable to solve these issues.

In addition to the 1st General Assembly of the World Conference, a stock-taking exercise took place during the 3rd Congress on the independence of the constitutional courts.

 

 

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